You’re absolutely right. And a predictable consequence of the pedagogical libertarianism Graff describes is that, at least initially, these discussions seem fraught. “Are you saying I’ve been doing it wrong?”
(Of course, the reason for the internet is to tell people they’re doing it wrong!)]]>
I do agree though that meta-discussions in the classroom–that what Professor Lord Byron means by close reading may differ from what Professor Marlowe means, both of which are completely different from Professor Fanon–are crucial. And each of those profs should do as much as possible to show their own footwork, so that students can see that footwork as such.
But this is part of the problem, because we have so thoroughly internalized our own methodologies, that it’s difficult for us not to see them as universal, even when we know on paper that they are not.]]>